Magdeline Lum

It was fun while it lasted.

Favourite Thing: My most favourite thing to do in science is using my science skills or knowledge to help out my family or friends. It’s an amazing feeling being able to make a difference, no matter how small or big.



Hedland Senior High School: 1994 – 1997, Methodist Ladies’ College: 1998


I have a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Graduate Diploma in Extractive Metallurgy from Murdoch University. Right now I am enrolled at the University of Western Australia working on a Masters of Science Communication.

Work History:

I’ve worked on mine sites, in commercial labs and, in research labs as a chemist. Before becoming a chemist some of my part time jobs included delivering pizza and even working at an airport.


I write for Science Network WA and Australasian Science as well as blog for Nature’s Student Voices.

Current Job:

I have swapped lab work to become a science writer.

Me and my work

I write science news articles in all sorts of areas of science.

My Typical Day

My day is divided between researching for the science articles I write and researching for my Masters of Science Communication.

What I'd do with the money

Help start a program allowing high students in Malawi to exchange ideas on science with Australian high school students.

Building Bridges is a digital storytelling and student exchange program proposed by UWA PhD candidate, Ms. Muza Gondwe. It is going to involve high school students in Malawi and Australia to share ideas with each other over the internet. The students will be involved in making films about science and also about their cultures to be sent to each other. After all the videos have been watched, the students will take part in a video conference about each other’s films and the impact they had as well as discussing the important scientific and cultural issues identified.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

I am taller than a penguin and shorter than a giraffe. I also have trouble with word limits.

Who is your favourite singer or band?

This is a tough question! I have to admit that Katy Perry, Grinspoon, and Michael Bublé are the current top 3 on my iPod.

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef. That was incredible. It beats skydiving.

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

1) I would love to go on the International Space Station for a week. 2) Longer fingers so I could learn to play the piano. 3) A lifetime supply of my favourite chocolate.

What did you want to be after you left school?

I didn’t know what I wanted to be. It was so hard choosing. I finally decided to study chemistry at university because it was something I found enjoyable. Strange, I know.

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

A few times, usually for talking at the same time the teacher was talking. Never a good idea, especially when you get caught in the act!

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

I was able to use chemistry to tell a community that their drinking water was safe to drink.

Tell us a joke.

Q. Why don’t aliens eat clowns? A. Because they taste funny.

Sports followed

Favourite team